On May 31, 2018, the Jerusalem Post published Teaching Israelis about China based on a survey conducted in 2017 investigating The attitudes and perceptions of Israeli’s towards China, its people, and the Belt & Road Initiative. Led by SIGNAL, the project is the first of its kind conducted in Israel. The study was funded by China’s Ministry of Education and was initiated by SIGNAL Fellow, Dr. Li Wei, faculty and Research Fellow at the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies (IMES) at Northwest University in central China where SIGNAL has had an Israel studies Program since 2013.
Any attempt to understand and analyze the state of world Jewry faces several challenges from the start.
First, outside the Jewish-majority State of Israel, which has all the attributes of a nation—census data, economic reports, global rankings, security assessments, and political barometers—Jews live in scores of other countries around the world where such attributes are usually lacking, making it difficult to collect information and reach conclusions about their Jewish communities.
Second, in the country with the largest concentration of Jews outside Israel, the United States, census guidelines prohibit questions about religion, which means that data collection and assessment are pursued by private – scholarly or communal – sources, if at all.
Third, there is no universally accepted definition of who is a Jew. Depending on the community, criteria can range from a very open understanding of Jewish identity – e.g., anyone who considers herself or himself a Jew, or anyone who has any Jewish ancestry – to much more restrictive definitions – e.g., only those who have a Jewish mother or those who have been converted to Judaism by certain rabbis and not others.